The History of Engineering

Week 9

The rise of the engineers

As we have seen the history of engineers goes back to the renaissance or maybe even further. These engineers where mostly military engineers. Modern civil engineering, it may be argued, is a 19th century phenomena. We shall consider the three different traditions: The British, The French and the American and look at the changing images of engineers.  A short account of engineering in Denmark will also be given.


09.00-12.00 Lecture and artefacts workshop (if we have time)

Core readings:


Jamieson, Andrew & Heymann, Matthias,

Historical Tensions in Engineering Education: European Perspectives, Ch. 2

in “Engineering, Development and Philosophy” (eds.: S.H. Christensen et al.) 2012


Reynolds, Terry S.,

“The Enginner in 19th century America”

In “The Engineer in America”

Chicago,IL.: The University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 7-26 


  Discussion 1:

Kranakis, Eda,

"Constructing a bridge"

in MacKenzie, Donald & Wajcman, Judy (eds.)

“The Social Shaping of Technology",

Buckingham: OUP, 1999.


 Discussion 2:

Brittain, James E.,

“The introduction of the loading coil: George A. Campell and Michael I. Pupin”

pp. 261- 282 in Reynolds, T.S.  

“The engineer in America : A historical anthology from technology and culture” 

Chicago,IL.: The University of Chicago Press, 1991


 Discussion 3:

Jung Lee,

"Inventions without Science:"Korean Edisons" and the Changing Understanding of Technology in Colonial Korea"

Technology and Culture, vol 54, nr. 4, 2013, pp 782-814


Supplementary Readings:

Reynolds, Terry S.,


“The Enginner in 20th century America”


In “The Engineer in America”


Chicago,IL.: The University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 169-190


Harnow, Henrik

'Far and Wide: the history of technical consultancy in Denmark -1850 until today',

FRI - Danish Association of Consulting Engineers, 2004.

Rolt, L.T.C

“Victorian Engineering”

Sutton publishing, 2001 (new ed. 2007)


Wagner, Michael F.

“Danish Polytechnical Education between Handicraft and Science”

pp. 146- 163 in Christensen, D.C.

“European historiography of technology: Proceedings from the TISC-conference, Roskilde 1993“

Odense: Odense Universitets Forlag, 1993.


Critchley, O.H.

“The Enigma of the Engineer. Hero of the Industrial Revolution: mere henchman in an age of science”

IEE Proceedings, vol. 155, Pt.A, No.5 May 1988


Also see the following very comprehensive bibliography complied by Thomas Misa:
22 JUNI 2018